FRIDAY, JAN. 4: No player will wear #40 for the Harrisburg Heat after the club retired the jersey worn by indoor legend David Bascome.
Last Saturday Bascome had his number retired at halftime of the club’s game.
Bascome said the cermony brought back a flood of memories including a bus fire, and one big regret.
The Bermudian plated for the club in 1991 and, after a one year hiatus, returned to play another 10 seasons before moving on to the Baltimore Blast, a team he now coaches.
Bascome is one of just 14 players who scored over 1,000 points in the National Professional Soccer league and is the Heat’s all-time leader in many categories.
The team became defunct in 2012 and was resurrected this year in the Professional Arena Soccer League.
When asked what it means to have his number retired for the Heat, Bascome laughed: “It means I’m old.
“Seriously, it didn’t hit me until I was there with all the players I played with and all the fans coming back from my playing days.
“It feels good to achieve this accomplishment. I have a lot of respect for the club on how they were able to get the guys back to spring those memories and remind people of the guys who were here before and laid the path for the current players so this is a great honour.”
Bascome said the memories came flooding back and it was great catching up with former teammates and coaches.
“We were able to recall those times on and off the field.”
Bascome said some of the greatest moments happened away from the pitch as they pulled pranks on one another.
“Sneaking inside their apartments and changing the rookies’ furniture around was just one of the things we used to do to mess with the guys.
“But that’s what it is like when you are family.
“When I first came to Harrisburg in 1991, about 80 per cent of the players were rookies. We were able to grow together as a family and suffer through tribulations with each other.
“For a lot of us, it was the first time playing in the indoor arena.”
He said one of the great memories were the road trips on the bus.
“One time the bus caught fire while we were going to Dayton (Ohio). While most people would think of that as a disaster but one of the guys grabbed a deck of cards and we played so it turned out okay.
Bascome said it was great rehashing memories about the Heat getting to the championships game against St Louis, but others included multiple games of scoring six goals, making the All-star team; winning the team MVP; of reaching 500 goals.
He added: “My only regret in playing those 11 years with the Heat was not winning the championship. We were right on the edge of winning it. We worked so hard to get there and were so close and it became a memory I took in Baltimore to get that taste.”
In the 1994-95 season they were swept by the Saint Louis Ambush four games to zero in the final.
Bascome said one of his fondest memories was being able to work with young people.
“Playing with the Heat gave me the opportunity to work in the schools and start my own business.
“Playing with Harrisburg had a huge impact on shaping my character and helping me become the person I am. In coming from Bermuda… it helped me become more professional. I learned how to handle the media and how to be responsible. I had to get up for training on my own. It taught me on how to give back to the community so it had an impact on my character.
“It helped me learn how to talk with the fans and with the business people. It taught me how to say things the right way. It educated me in ways I could not have done in Bermuda.”